Saturday, November 13, 2010

baptismal gowns

My sister Janna's church, First English Lutheran of Whitewater, Wisconsin, had a display of 50 baptismal gowns at their fall fest today.
They placed planks of styrofoam and cardboard along the tops of the pews, covered them with fabric, and displayed the gowns with accompanying ephemera.

Many gowns had stories with them. There were gowns over a hundred years old and some very recent ones. One gown had a list of at least 30 babies who wore it. Another gown was made from a WWII silk parachute. There was a gown that had been used by many generations, but now was too fragile; for the most recent babies, it was placed inside the blanket in which the baby was held during the baptism.
Janna had her gown displayed, along with our brother's and her three sons'.
Seeing the display brought to mind a story about the gown my mother made for our children.
When I was getting married, my mother offered to make my wedding gown. I went to Fraerman Fabrics, right by the Sears Tower in downtown Chicago with my yardage all worked out. A very nice woman helped me choose a beautiful silk. We did our calculations and she gave me a price. My face must have shown my despair and she kindly said, "Let us look at the polyester. It has that silk rustle and no one will know the difference. You come back when it is time for a baptism gown and you can buy the silk for that."
This is exactly what I did.


Beth said...

I had forgotten the story about your wedding dress fabric. It's so wonderful!

Leta Obenauer said...

Thank you for featuring our event here and it was so nice to chat with you today.Best regards, Leta